Consumers Watched More Than 23,000 Years Worth Of Videos in 2020, Per Wistia’s State Of Video Report

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Wistia Releases 2021 State of Video Report, Offering a Look at the Trends Shaping the Video Marketing Industry

Wistia, a leader in the video and podcasting space, today released its video marketing report which found that 12.2 billion minutes worth of videos were watched in 2020, equating to 23,211 years worth of content. The 2021 State of Video Report was created through the analysis of user data from the Wistia platform, including more than 44 million videos that were uploaded between 2016 and 2020 across more than 500,000 accounts. The report revealed how the pandemic dramatically increased video consumption, engagement, and creation, and shines a light on the trends shaping the video marketing industry, offering small business marketers actionable insights to drive user interest and engagement.

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“During COVID-19, marketers have become more creative than ever in their pursuit of reaching new consumers, and providing their customers with content of value,” said Wistia’s Vice President of Marketing, Chris Meador. “With consumers watching more video content than ever before – a trend that was accelerated during the pandemic – it’s become an essential tool for businesses. As we look to the future, we expect live video, virtual events and branded content to become a default for marketers.”

Consumers are watching more videos than ever before

With consumers spending more time at home during the pandemic, there has been a steady increase in content consumption. Since 2016, the time spent watching videos increased 249% from 3.5 billion minutes to 12.2 billion minutes in 2020. In 2020, there was an 85% increase in minutes watched, year-over-year. The number of minutes of video watched per month in 2020 was highest in April and May averaging 1.2 billion and 1.4 billion, during the first surge of the pandemic, but declined in the summer months. As the country saw another pandemic surge in the fall, minutes of video watched spiked again up to 1.3 billion.

Marketers look to build brand loyalty through video length

With video consumption on the rise, brands looked for added ways to engage with consumers and ultimately turned to longer-form video content. Impactful and story-driven long-form videos have seen tremendous growth as brands sought to build more of a connection and loyal audience. In general, engagement is highest for the first few minutes of video (typically above 50% for the first three minutes) and drops steadily after that mark, so viewers that continue to watch are more engaged and are strong candidates for additional content from the brand. However, the number of videos in the 30-60 minute category in 2020 grew 140% year-over-year and 446% since 2016, highlighting the increased investment in long-form content as more companies embrace video series.

Marketers turn to interactive elements to increase conversion rates 

In an effort to increase engagement and lead generation, marketers looked for more ways to incorporate interactive elements into their content, such as a call to action or annotation link.

The number of videos using conversion events since 2019 increased by 30% and there was also a 24% lift in the volume of videos using conversion events over the past five years. This finding correlates with the increase in video content consumption overall, suggesting that viewers are willing to give their email addresses to businesses when engaging with their video content.

Marketers also found that interactive elements placed at the end of videos were more effective over the five year period, with a 9% average conversion. As it turns out, conversion rates are also trending positively over this period, with the average conversion rate increasing from 9% to 13% in 2020.

As businesses seek new, meaningful, and creative ways to engage with their customers, they are continuing to turn towards video to aid in their dynamic content creation. With consumers more open to watching brands’ videos than ever before, marketers are using longer videos,  interactive elements, conversion events, and even virtual live events to connect with and ultimately engage new customers.

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